The Widdershins

Activist Monday: The Power of Social Media

Posted on: May 12, 2014

Tweet, tweet

Good morning all. Today I’d like to discuss the power of social media, as evidenced by the attention (finally) being paid to the 276 girls kidnapped in Nigeria by the extremist Muslim group Boko Haram.

The girls were kidnapped about three weeks ago, and the Nigerian government has been, shall we say, slow to respond. Why? Because girls are not a high priority in that country. Indeed, the plight of women in Nigeria is truly terrible; they experience a high incidence of poverty, lack of education and sexual violence, even including FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).

It was not until the Twitter campaign #BringBackOurGirls started, that protests began to be organized and global attention was paid.   This caused President Obama to wrinkle his august brow in mild consternation and offer assistance, which freed up Hillary and the First Lady to express their outrage as well.

Obama confirmed that Nigerian leaders had accepted a US offer to deploy experts there, saying “we’ve already sent in a team to Nigeria,” consisting of “military, law enforcement, and other agencies.”

“It’s a heartbreaking situation, outrageous situation,” Obama told US broadcaster ABC.

But “this may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that’s perpetrated such a terrible crime,” he said.

The news of the US deployment came as eight more schoolgirls were kidnapped by gunmen from the village of Warabe in Nigeria’s embattled northeast, near Chibok, residents said.

Boko Haram has killed thousands since 2002, in the pursuit of imposing an Islamist government on Nigeria. Due to the terror inflicted by this group in the Northeastern region of Nigeria, a state of emergency has been declared in that area.  As the more cynical amongst us will note, the international community did nothing about this until now. Perhaps the lack of oil/minerals in the area of Boko Haram violence could have been a factor?

In any case, it is clear now that Boko Haram can no longer hide its agenda or crimes from the world. The group is now posting videos of the captured girls and attempting to exchange them for Boko Haram prisoners being held by the Nigerian government. There is no intent to comply with this demand, and a rescue mission, at last, appears to be forthcoming.

All this tells me that there is still hope for activism in this country and others. While the corporations own most of everything, they don’t yet own the Internet, and they can still be swayed into doing the right thing if enough public pressure is brought to bear. So take heart, and let’s post our support for those trying to get the girls back at #BringBackOurGirls. believe it or not, yours could be the tweet that changes our world. (I would recommend spell check.)

This is an open thread.

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8 Responses to "Activist Monday: The Power of Social Media"

It does seem that these young ladies are disposable.

Oh yes, the value of women in Nigeria is very, very low. It is telling that Boko Haram abducted them from school. Most likely in their extreme viewpoint, women should not be educated except by being taught their version of the Koran.

mb said: Most likely in their extreme viewpoint, women should not be educated except by being taught their version of the Koran.

Sounds exactly like the Taliban in Afghanistan.

And of course and naturally, the Right Wing idiots have found a way to blame Hillary for this.

And here is the Think Progress link mentioned in the Slate article.

Yes, Fredster, I saw that too. They are really, really afraid of her. Conversely, they are not at all afraid of Obama…they’re not even trying to impeach him; instead, they’re trying to hang Hillary for Benghazi and this. Note the common them of SCARY MUSLIMS!!!1111!!! which always plays well with the Fox News crowd.

mb@5: Oh yeah, scary Muslims – oh my!

They are really, really afraid of her.

Pardon my language here but the idea of HRC 2016 makes their b@lls shrink up!

@6 Language? Fredster, that’s just the truth! I think they know they can’t stop her and they are just flailing around.

And a belated thank you to all for the Mother’s Day wishes, and may everyone who is grieving find peace and hope in your memories.

Mary Luke@7: Well I didn’t want to say balls, but you hear it (in that connotation) all over the teevee these days.

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